Back pain is one of the worst aches you’ll deal with throughout your life. Finding ways to manage it can be as simple as switching up the way you sleep, but while it may seem like you need to figure out how to break in your mattress, the real problem might be that you need new pillows. Check out these tips for choosing the right bed pillow for your sleep position.
Consider Your Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back is the best position for spine alignment. You will need a flat yet firm pillow to support your neck. The pillow shouldn’t be so thick that your head is angled forward, causing your neck to kink. Your neck should be straight with your spine when you sleep.
If you mostly sleep on your side throughout the night, you will want a firm and thick pillow to elevate your head from your shoulders and keep your spine aligned. A thick pillow will help take pressure off your shoulders and keep your back straight while you snooze.
You’ll use a soft pillow—or perhaps no pillow at all—if you sleep on your stomach. Strategically placing a pillow beneath your body when in this position may help relieve back pain. For instance, you could put a pillow under your stomach.
Pro Tip: Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your back! Most experts recommend that you train yourself to sleep in a different position for better spine alignment.
Choose the Best Pillow Materials
How your pillow is made will impact how it affects your sleep. Choose a pillow that is made with high-quality materials. Better quality materials won’t break down as fast, allowing you to enjoy your pillow longer. You may also want to choose a pillow with heavier materials that are more durable. Common fill materials for pillows include:
- Memory foam
- Synthetic down
Pro Tip: The higher your pillow’s fill power, the better the quality. A fill power of 600 to 800 designates a high-quality pillow that will last longer—but you should still replace your pillow every 18 months.
Though you will cover your pillow with a pillowcase, the fabric of your pillow is still important. You want the fabric to be durable and breathable. Your pillow’s fabric will protect it from stains caused by sweat.
Pro Tip: If you tend to get hot during the night, you’ll want to choose a moisture-wicking pillow. While certain fabrics can help keep you cool, pillows made of wool are also a good choice.
The two main sizes of pillows are standard and king. For most people, a standard pillow suits their needs. But if you want a larger pillow, choose a king size. King-size pillows are made to fit king-size beds but work well on any size bed.
Pro Tip: Decorative pillows look beautiful with your décor, but they should be removed so that you can sleep on your bed pillows.
When picking out pillows for your bed, you should consider more than your sleeping position. The material of your pillow is also important. Try out different pillows to figure out which tips for choosing the right bed pillow matter to you.